Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Something We Need A Lot More Of

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

Something We Need A Lot More Of

We have experienced unexpected and trying times this year that have evoked many feelings. It seems that one feeling that has been lacking is love. Love is the one thing we all need a lot more of right now. As Christians, we need to remember that the love of the Father is what we should be spreading. Some would say that love is the greatest feeling in the world but it is more than that; it is also the most powerful transforming force on human experience. The events happening in our country right now need a powerful transforming force! Brother Van always says that the right thing done the wrong way is the wrong thing. The most noble causes, devoid of love, are not noble at all. 

There is possibly no other word with more definitions and ideas surrounding it than the word “love.”  I Corinthians 13 is an uplifting, cleansing experience that describes what God intended love to be like. People love to have it read at their weddings and printed on parchments for display. But if you look at the context, these verses are meant to be applied, not just to marriages, but really to how we interact with one another as believers. The love spoken of in this passage is AGAPE love.

The Beauty of Agape

The reason why agape can soar above these is because it is based upon the commitment of a decision. It entails the decision to proactively seek someone's well-being.  Since it is not a knee jerk reaction or just a responsive feeling to how I've been treated, agape is capable of acting in a hostile environment where there are no warm fuzzy feelings. 

For example, in Luke 6:35 Jesus' teaching telling us that we should agape our enemies is intended to show the boundless nature of the Christian commitment toward seeking another's well-being.  The New Testament is full of examples and teachings illustrating the nature of agape as well as teachings designed to train the disciple's heart to be shaped by agape.

AGAPE love transcends all other forms and expression of love when connected to God and His nature and the Spirit of God in the believer.  What few realize is that it takes the indwelling and empowering of the Spirit of God in a life for anyone to know this kind of love in experience.  You must know God to know agape love. The unsaved man can no more experience this kind of love than can a marble statue!

The beauty and high calling of this passage in I Corinthians 13 is based in the very person of God. It helps me to remember that God IS love because it is the best thing to be.  Love is for our benefit, not just others.  At no time can this passage be read without conviction.  But just because we cannot live it in its entirety does not mean that we should disdain it in our lives.

This is the "more excellent way" - meaning that where it can be applied we can know benefit and blessing beyond any other response.  Remember that God redefined love and He did it for you and I. You and I are precious to God. We are surrounded by people who are also loved and precious to God.  Paul believes we should also love each other the same.

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Luke 6:35  

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